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Promoting Your Company with Promotional Products

By | Marketing

Promotional materials can be a great way to educate potential customers or vendors about your company and the services you offer and increase public awareness of your business. Know how to use promotional materials effectively to make these giveaway items benefit your business.

Structure your giveaways.

A big component of using promotional materials effectively is determining how your materials will be given away or distributed. Decide if you want items to be free to every attendee of a show or conference, or if items will be given only to repeat clients or new clients that sign up. This will help you decide how valuable or detailed to make your promotional materials.

Know what you want to accomplish.

Decide what your purpose is for using promotional materials for business. Promotional materials can advertise your business, but they can also educate clients or vendors about your industry or why specific products are beneficial. Determine whether you want recipients of your promotional materials to be educated, thanked for their business or made aware of your business in the industry.

Utilize color.

Bright colors attract attention, so incorporate bold, bright colors into the items you choose when using promotional giveaways for business. The more attractive and eye-catching your promotional materials are, the more likely their recipients are to remember your company.

Give different products to different people.

Consider using different promotional materials for different levels of clients. Give long-standing clients premium giveaways to thank them for their business. Give prospective new clients promotional materials that include educational materials or samples to effectively advertise your business to them.

Work with a specialist.

Consult a promotional specialist to determine the best promotional materials to use to effectively advertise your business. A specialist will help you determine the best products to use for your specific business and how to utilize them to promote your business.

Make your company name memorable.

Feature your company name and logo prominently on promotional materials so your business is memorable with the clients that receive them. Make your company name a different color so it stands out and be sure to use materials or giveaways that are large enough that your company logo or slogan can be clearly read.

Change it up.

Alternate the promotional materials you use to keep giveaways interesting and to continuously educate clients about new or improved services your business offers. Clients will respond positively to new promotional materials with information about new products they can use.

Connect it to your business.

Coordinate promotional materials with the type of business you’re promoting or the corresponding industry. Pharmaceutical representatives often give away tablet splitters or counting trays with their company or drug name, while health food companies give out reusable water bottles. Gear your promotional materials toward your target audience, as they are the clients that will benefit most from your business and your giveaways.

Marketing Vs. Branding

By | Marketing

There is a spectrum of opinions here, but marketing is actively promoting a product or service. It’s a push tactic. It’s pushing out a message to get sales results: “Buy our product because it’s better than theirs.” This is oversimplification, but that’s it in a nutshell.

This is not branding.

Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.

A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me.” Instead, it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”

Branding is strategic. Marketing is tactical.

Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization—whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.

The brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The marketing may convince you to buy a particular Toyota, and maybe it’s the first foreign car you ever owned, but it is the brand that will determine if you will only buy Toyotas for the rest of your life.

The brand is built from many things. Very important among these things is the lived experience of the brand. Did that car deliver on its brand promise of reliability? Did the maker continue to uphold the quality standards that made them what they are? Did the sales guy or the service center mechanic know what they were talking about?

Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists, out of those who buy.

This works the same way for all types of businesses and organizations. All organizations must sell (including nonprofits). How they sell may differ, and everyone in an organization is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand. Every thought, every action, every policy, every ad, every marketing promotion has the effect of either inspiring or deterring brand loyalty in whomever is exposed to it. All of this affects sales.

Back to our financial expert. Is marketing a cost center? Poorly researched and executed marketing activities can certainly be a cost center, but well-researched and well-executed marketing is an investment that pays for itself in sales and brand reinforcement.

Is branding a cost center? On the surface, yes, but the return is loyalty. The return is sales people whose jobs are easier and more effective, employees who stay longer and work harder, customers who become ambassadors and advocates for the organization.
Branding is as vital to the success of a business or nonprofit as having financial coherence, having a vision for the future, or having quality employees.

It is the essential foundation for a successful operation. So yes, it’s a cost center, like good employees, financial experts, and business or organizational innovators are. They are cost centers, but what is REALLY costly is not to have them, or to have substandard ones.

Direct Mailing and You

By | Mailing

As a small business owner, you need to acquire new customers but may not know how to find them. Here are some basic direct mail marketing tips and strategies to simplify the process of generating leads and converting them into new customers.

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct marketing is a perfect opportunity to get your company’s name in the hands of customers who want to hear about your latest products, services, and coupons.

Understanding Your Target Customers

Knowing about your best customers is a key factor in targeted direct marketing. Knowing the customers’ basic demographics, such as males 18 to 34 or females with children, is a start. However, a more complete understanding of your customer’s profile like their shopping and purchasing behavior in other categories; their attitudes toward trends, products, marketing and media; or their lifestyle habits can help you become even more effective in both your lead selection and the messages you’ll use in communicating with the leads.

Target Your Ideal Customer

Once you understand your customers you can use this information to build a targeted list of potential new leads. Targeted direct mailing lists can be expensive, but they’re likely to result in the best response rate and generate future loyal customers.

The old formula for direct marketing success was mass marketing: “Mail to as many people as you can; someone has to be interested.” However, paper and postage costs are always increasing, and with so much mail ending up in the trash, businesses have changed their way of thinking. Why waste money mailing to everyone when everyone is not a potential customer? You need to target the leads who will buy. That is the difference between mass marketing and target marketing. Targeted mailing lists pinpoint your best leads. There is less waste and a higher percentage of prospects responding to your mailing.

Pick a Mailing List Type

It’s practically impossible to overstate the importance of direct mailing lists to the success of your direct mail program. The correct mailing list will contain your most valuable prospects. The more careful you are in analyzing and selecting direct mailing lists, the better your chances for success. There are several different categories of mailing lists available on the market today ranging in cost and appropriateness for your market. When you are considering what type of mailing list to buy consider the following three types:

• Specialty List – allows you to identify your target audience

• Custom Mailing List – allows you to select the customer criteria that meets your needs

• Cloned List – allows you to find customers similar to your best current customers

Create a Mailing

Once you have a mailing list it is time to create your direct mail message. The direct mail piece you create delivers your message. The piece represents who and what you are. Make it consistent with what you’re selling. If you are offering a high-quality professional service, your direct mail piece needs to reflect that quality.